The Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University Wukari in Taraba State, Prof Abubakar Kundiri, has been dragged before the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offenses Commission over alleged involvement in a N2bn fraud.
A worker in the institution’s Department of Bursary, Maijama Hassan, had in a petition to the anti-graft agency, accused Kundiri of diverting about N2bn meant to pay workers salaries into his pocket.
The petition read in part, “The Vice Chancellor, Federal University Wukari, Prof. Abubakar Musa Kundiri has diverted staff salaries amounting to about Two billion naira (₦2,000,000,000.00) into his pocket.
“Prof. Kundiri perfected this via a memo he presented to the Governing Council, and for which approval was granted to set up a committee to review the appointment of all staff of the University in the guise of what was called proper placement at the point of entry into the university.
“Consequently, the appointment of 95 per cent of the staff was reviewed downwards, with members of staff losing between ₦50,000.00 to ₦200,000.00 per month as cuts in their salaries, even though such workers had spent their mandatory two years probation and have their appointments confirmed. This negates the Federal Government circular of 22nd October, 2013, Ref: FCSC/CHMN/CL/17/VOL./36 tagged Proper Placement an aberration.
“It is unfortunate to note that the so called proper placement exercise which was implemented in November, 2017 did not get the approval of relevant government MDAs, such as Office of the Head of Service of the Federation, Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget Office, Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, National Salaries Income and Wages Commission. But Prof. Kundiri claimed he got the consent of Federal Ministry of Education and National Universities Commission.”
When contacted, Kundiri, who dismissed the allegations against him, described the petition as a figment of the imagination of those who were benefiting from the corrupt system that he was fighting.
He said, “The petitioner is not a member of staff of this university but thank God the petition is before the ICPC which is the right agency to investigate such an allegation.
“Let me tell you, there was no proper placement when I came in. Some people, who were supposed to be on CONTISS (Consolidated Tertiary Institutions Salary Structure) 7 were placed on CONTISS 3 and some who were supposed to be on CONTISS 3 were placed on CONTISS 11.
“We have corrected all that and some people, who were benefiting from that corrupt system are now fighting back. I would have been in jail by now if there is any substance in the allegations.
“The petitioner accused me of embezzling N2bn and that I employed about 1000 workers. Where will I get money to pay them?
“How much is the budget of the university? Ask the staff of the university whether they have not been taking their salaries.
“It will interest you to know that the 2019 budget of the university was just approved last month, but the University has not stopped paying salaries. I am not bothered by the allegations because they are baseless.”